What does this game do right?

User Rating: 4 | Shadow of the Tomb Raider XONE

The first game of this reboot series was simply fantastic. You had a tough Lara Croft facing off against realistic enemies with a pretty plausible story, good gameplay mechanics and a solid open world worth exploring. And the fact that it was such a linear experience really appealed to me. For example; Let's say you are in area 1, The equipment you get in that area unlocks pretty much 90% or more of the collectables in that area, There is little to no backtracking. In Shadow of the Tomb Raider, There is none of that.

With just the intro alone, I was immediately disinterested in the plot. Lara manages to survive just not one but two plane crashes and a flood within the opening minutes. That alone zapped the realism that they built up for this character in the previous two games. She was no longer the tough heroine, She was now this invincible superhero who can walk away from everything without a scratch. It was a real blow to the character IMO.

And then we have a plot that was just all too familiar and uninteresting: Stopping this secret organization from getting these ancient weapons in hopes of creating chaos. A way too precise platforming aspect that provides virtually no room for error and on top of that, The stealth mechanics are stripped away for a more full-on assault approach. Not that it really matters considering you will go hours at a time without facing anyone.

On top of all that, We are treated to so many needless collectables hidden throughout the game, Most of which are locked away because you don't have the equipment need to advance into those sections. This equipment isn't unlocked until very, very late in the game. Meaning a good majority of these collectables, which you don't even need to beat the game, will not be obtainable until the very end so if you are a completionist, Be prepared for a lot of annoying backtracking through these areas in order to find all of them. And again, I can not stress enough for how needless it was to pack this game full of annoying collectables.

A few other minor things I noticed was the small number of bugs and glitches but that's typical for games like Tomb Raider. Virtually everything gameplay wise is the same as the previous games, As is the visual style. And while it can be fun to play at times, It does very little to maintain your interest.

Overall: 4/10
Shadow of the Tomb Raider was a massive step back. For the sequel, I would like a more stripped down, linear approach like in the first game. Cut down on the collectables as well, There's no need to have that many in a game. And provide a more down to earth story that is realistic and actually challenge Lara rather than putting her on a pedestal and making her this untouchable god.